Paul Away

Paul is away until 30th July but admin will still be dealt with.

Cowes Week is full but we have one place left for the RORC Ushant race starting 14th August–not for novices.

We also have a space for people just to crew on the Yachtmaster prep weekends in the Autumn. Good for building miles and experience plus seeing what YM entails.Cost is £100 each.

St Vaast and sunshine

We run the 7 day Comp Crew course a couple of times a year as it lets us do a Channel Crossing. last week, Jeremy, Adam, John and Darren joined Paul for a week of almost unbroken sunshine. We sailed in the Solent on the Saturday stopping in Haslar overnight before a day crossing to St Vaast in just enough wind. A couple of nights in St vaast allowed us to enjoy this lovely little port before sailing round to Cherbourg with the tide and a spinnaker up helping us to over 11 knots speed over ground (SOG) After a splendid meal out in Cherbourg we set off the next afternoon and arrived off Yarmouth at 0100 completing our 4 night hours of sailing under a full moon. the next day we ran up to Cowes seeing the Commodores Cup classic yachts racing. After meeting up with several old friends from Oz and the Caribbean we sailed back home to Lymington on Friday afternoon to complete the course with 221 miles of rain free sailing.

St Malo or Alderney

The St Malo race started against tide and wind but we beat our way out of the Solent and by the time we were on the other side of the Traffic Seperation Scheme off the Channel Islands we were doing well. Unfortunately the wind was dropping and the forecast was for it to drop down to 4 knots coming from where we wanted to go. After a good look at the tides for the return leg we reluctantly retired and headed into Alderney. Looking at the finish times for the other yachts we made the right decision as it would have been hard for people to get back to work in time on Monday. Work–‘the curse of the sailing classes’ Still Martin enjoyed it.

It was a great pleasure to sail with you again and an amazing experience. I learnt a lot as I always do when sailing with you!


One place left for Cowes week and One for RORC Ushant race Sunday after Cowes Week

3 Peaks and Volvo Round Ireland Race Reports

3 Peaks Yacht Race A smaller yacht than last year, Tactixs a 26 year old X99 as Dee Caffari has the Reflex 38 we won with last year. With 3 sailors and 2 runners the 33 footer was fairly full but now we have a TV Cameraman as well filming for Channel 4 and SC4. Roland is 6 feet 5 inches and whilst a lovely person he does get in the way. A steady start from Barmouth and we sail up to Bardsey sound fairly well, then beat against the tide sometimes using eddies very close to the shore. We have some serious competition this year from Dee Caffari plus Elin Haf Davies and her professional crew on a fast 40 footer. We are not the first into Carnarvon but thanks to our runners we are the first out. But we have no wind, so we start rowing only to find the Southampton OTC yacht overtaking us under engine. We check, they are right and can motor to the next buoy marking the edge of the harbour limit; we have started rowing to soon and lost some valuable minutes. Minutes matter, we have just finished the first leg in second place, one second behind another yacht on corrected time. The wind is light and the tide is against us so we often have to row in the Menai Straits. We reach the Bridges as the tide turns in our favour but we are rowing again and our 2 runners row as well. A long slow night of sailing follows as we desperately look for wind. Eventually and with more rowing we make it into Whitehaven where Alex and Pavel are off up Scafell. They will be at least 6 hours; we go for a Steak followed by a rest. We are the first out of the lock and have a narrow lead as we start the 3rd and longest leg up to Corpach by Fort William. The forty footers are just behind us but their extra length gives greater hull speed and they slowly pull away North. We round the Mull of Kintyre as the wind dies and we have to row again, the boats in front still have wind and the gap widens. We struggle on towards then Sound of Luing and past the notorious whirlpool of Correyvechan as the wind returns but now it is from the North and building to a gale. We beat on up the Loch through the narrows with its tidal ‘Gate’, with up to 40 kts across the deck we slowly make progress. At least we don’t have to add any more to the 40 miles we have already rowed, but it is still seriously hard beating into a gale on a 33 foot yacht, Our runners have rowed and been soaked in cold water on the rail but they are soon on their way up a windy mountain, at least with the appalling weather the paths to the summit should be uncrowded. Alex and Pavel’s time for the run is beaten a day later by a well-rested pair from Moby J on this leg, but they are still King of the Mountains and we finish 3rd overall on corrected time. We celebrate and sleep; I await Nimrod sailed by Paul Love-Williams. Nimrod, the Go-ape yacht, had engine failure and they have had to do even more rowing, if there is a prize for sheer determination it must surely go to them. Paul arrives and after a few hours sorting things on board we are off to Glasgow airport and our flight to . . . → Read More: 3 Peaks and Volvo Round Ireland Race Reports

3 Peaks then Volvo Round Ireland

Paul is defending 9 cups as co-skipper on Tactix an X99 as part of the Wight Rose team.!wight-rose/gqmal You can follow progress on yellow brick from the start on Saturday 11th June This year they will be slowed slightly by having a cameraman on board filming for a TV documentary. Dee Caffari and Elin Haf Davies will also have cameramen on board their yachts.

the Volvo Round Ireland starts a week later, 18th June with Wild Spirit having only the team prize cup to defend. Yellow brick tracking should be available should you wish to follow our progress.

This time we won’t make the mistake of enjoying the local hospitality until 0400 on the morning of the race which led to a much delayed hoist whilst the fore-deck committee searched in vain for the fourth corner of the spinnaker.

Judith will look after the admin until Paul’s return on 30th June.

Eddystone-1st Sea School yacht

Lots of races have a trophy for first Sea School yacht, but not the RORC Myth of Malham race from Cowes round Eddystone and back. Pity as we as we beat Logic, Girls for sail and the Army to finish 23rd overall and 5th in Class.

The light wind weather forecast meant the course was shortened to 230 miles The start wwas painfully slow and the first night saw many in the fleet drifting backwards near Portland Bill. Sunday saw much better progress and we ran virtually all the way down to the the notorious ‘Start Point wind hole’ under Spinnaker before the sea breeze kicked in and we tacked on whites up and round the Rock whilst spotting a few Dolphins.

Returning homewards it was clear we couldn’t get across Lyme Bay and past Portland on one tide, so we set a Waypoint 10 miles south of the Bill and sailed quickly in a building Northerly. Then we were close hauled against the tide and round the corner into Christchurch Bay pursued by 2 Sunfast 3200s who give us time and should have been well in front of us. As the wind reached 25 knots and backed we tacked into the finish crossing the line at 8.9 kts over the ground.

Everything from becalmed to needing reefs a challenging but satisfying race.

Off racing

Paul is away until Tuesday racing. All enquiries will be dealt with then. The last RYA course saw Pete, Steph and Luca passing Comp Crew. Mike and Donald both passed Day Skipper.

Romping Home–and RYA Day Skipper changes

Dear shipmates

It certainly was a fabulous weekend, and lovely to see Paul in full race form, beating back through that tide at Hurst. A cracking sail.

Thank you everyone, for your excellent company.


Ian a regular on Wild Spirit was with us when we sailed back through Hurst against a spring tide peaking at 5 kts. With 20 kts of breeze we could make headway but it proved a valuable learning experience for newer sailors. From 2017 all Day Skipper qualifications will be tidal with this topic just being covered by theory in non-tidal waters. Many who believe that there is nothing like experience feel this is a retrograde move. We will continue to fully comply with RYA course requirements and strive to teach you to sail, enjoy your time on board and pass the course.

Gone sailing and Cowes Week

Paul is off sailing now until 21st May but Judith will run the office and provisonal bookings will be held until my return. Why do I vet every RYA booking and not have a ‘pay and book now system’? Quite simply if you book on the wrong RYA course it can be painful for everyone on board.

I have rejigged our Cowes Week package and reduced the cost for early bookers. more details on Cowes week page.